The CNMA consists of two full-time staff members, two part-time employees, a volunteer Board of Directors, and approximately 500 paid memberships. The current Board of Directors include:
Debbie Kovalik, Chair: Debbie is a third generation Colorado Native, born in Denver, Colorado, graduated from The University of Northern Colorado and has worked in Television Media as a journalist, in marketing and advertising and began a career in Destination Marketing in Colorado Springs in 1985. In January of 1990, Debbie was hired as the First Executive Director of the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau and served in that Leadership Roll for the City of Grand Junction for 28 years, until her Retirement in early 2018.
Brian Hollingsworth, Treasurer: Brian is a CPA and senior auditor with Dalby, Wendland & Co. P.C. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Masters in accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently serves as the treasurer of Grand Junction Lions Club, and sits on the Mesa County Valley School District #51 Audit Committee. Brian is a Grand Junction local. He was born and raised in the Grand Valley. His interests include outdoor activities and sports. He is an avid golfer and skier.
Melinda Shishim, Secretary: Melinda is an attorney working for the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She received her JD from Vermont Law School, and a BA in English from Fort Lewis College where she was a member of the road cycling team. She loves to travel and recently got engaged in Guatemala. She and her fiance have a cat and are awaiting the arrival of their new rescue pup.
David Conner, Member: I have lived in Grand Junction for 34 years and have no plans on leaving the area. I have a wife of 18 years (Carrieann) and two kids – Mia, 16-year-old daughter and Spencer, 12-year-old son. We enjoy hiking, biking, skiing and 4 wheeling all over the western slope of Colorado. I have a B.S. in computer science from Colorado Mesa University (Mesa State when I graduated). I have work for ProVelocity and its sister company OBJ Group for the last 8 ½ years helping business on the western slope with IT solutions and voice/internet needs. I have enjoyed being a Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Grand Junction for 4 ½ years, on several committees within the club and was a Boy Scout leader with my son.
Joel Bechtel, Member: Born in Warren, Minnesota in 1945, Joel moved to Greeley, Colorado as a child. Attended Colorado University for his undergraduate degree and then Colorado University Medical School, obtaining his M.D. in 1971. After completing internship at the University of California in L.A. he served 3 years as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Joel then completed his medical education with an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Oregon and a fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Michigan. Returning to Colorado, with his wife and two sons in 1980, Joel opened a Pulmonary Medicine practice in Grand Junction. Joel has practiced Pulmonary and Intensive Care medicine for over 34 years, retiring October of 2014. During his career, Joel served on the St. Mary’s Board of Directors, the St. Mary’s Foundation Board and was Chief of Medical Staff for two years. Since retirement, Joel is again on the St. Mary’s Foundation Board, and now serving on the Colorado National Monument Association Board. Joel is an avid road biker and more recently, he’s added pickle-ball to his sporting endeavors.
Carl Jacobson, Member: Carl is a long-term resident of Glade Park. He lives adjacent to Colorado National Monument in a solar-powered rammed-earth home that Danni and he built from native materials. Having grown up on a ranch in Wyoming, he enjoys the solitude that the monument offers, but also enjoys his interactions with the diverse populace of Glade Park. He is a chemical engineer from Mines. He worked as an engineering manager in oil shale, ground-water remediation, energy conservation, and renewable energy installations. When not reading or traveling, Carl may be found hiking, biking, skiing or hanging out in the woods.
Jesse Scott, Member: Jesse coordinates mentoring efforts for students at Colorado Mesa University, as well as facilitates trainings on suicide interventions and mental health awareness. With a background in wilderness therapy, counseling, social work and youth corrections, he’s excited to be a part of the CNMA Board in its efforts to foster connection to place, as it relates to the monument and those who visit the special places within its boundaries. Jesse also dedicates his time to alpine ski racing as the Head Coach for the CMU ski team as well as provides coach instruction to the Powderhorn Racing Clubs coaching staff. As a Grand Junction area native, Jesse spent a great deal of his childhood hiking the trails within the monument and sharing picnics with his family at the various pullouts and campgrounds. Jesse is passionate about advocating for the care, utility and overall well-being of this sacred space, and along with his wife Ilana, will continue to be grateful for any time spent in the monument hiking or sharing a picnic with friends and family.
Mark Swain, Member:
Colorado National Monument Association board meeting are held once each month, typically 4:00-6:00 pm on the third Monday afternoon of the month, at Western Colorado Community College. Call the executive director or any board member for current details. Colorado National Monument Association 970-858-3617 ext 360